Victorian integrator, Southern Cross Computing Systems (SCCS), has established a new consulting practice in a bid to land bigger contracts. It has appointed former Volante consulting manager, Ashutosh Kapse, to head up the division.
Managing director, Mark Kalmus, said market consolidation and falling product margins were top reasons for launching the new business. SCCS had been looking at consulting services for the past year.
"We are still making good margins on hardware but it is getting harder and harder," he said. "We are looking to move up the value chain in terms of products and services. On the services front, we're targeting niche areas where we can differentiate from competitors or add further value to existing customers."
SCCS first initiated a move into professional services seven years ago. These now account for about 60 per cent of profits.
"About five years ago, 80 per cent was hardware, so it has been a big change for us," he said. "With the consulting practice, we hope to see this grow into an event larger contributor.
"Historically with infrastructure, we have tended to talk to the IT people about projects. It's not often we're talking about the business objectives. With the consulting practice, that's what we want to do."
Kapse spent the past six years building up Ipex and then Volante's consulting practice from foundations to a division of 25 staff with annual revenues of $3 million. He also holds one of 40 certifications for the Australian Department of Defence's infosec-registered assessor program (I-RAP), its information security best practice qualification, as well as the AS8015 corporate governance standard.
He said the SCCS consulting practice would be based on four pillars: governance; strategic planning; information security services; and risk management through business continuity planning and disaster recovery.
"Boards are asking whether they are investing IT dollars the right way, if they have the right project governance frameworks in place, or if they're getting enough value from investment," Kapse said. "That's where we're targeting these services."
Kalmus said it would initially offer consulting to its top 20 per cent of customers. It would then aim at organisations without a governance action plan.
"In particular, government agencies at all levels are making a strong push in this space," he said. "Then there are those organisations that have some multinational presence. They have a lot of governance issues they have to meet."
Kalmus said its consulting services would also be applicable to small and medium-sized organisations.